Role of peers in student academic achievement in exogenously formed university groups
We estimate the influence of classmates’ ability characteristics on student achievement in exogenously formed university student groups. The study uses administrative data on undergraduate students at a large selective university in Russia. The presence of high-ability classmates has a significant positive effect on individual grades in key economics and mathematics courses as well as on overall academic performance. While a simple linear-in-means model reveals moderate peer effects, non-linear specifications give strong evidence that students at the top of the ability distribution derive the greatest benefit from high-ability classmates. Less able students are not affected by peers and have no significant influence on peers’ outcomes.
The article is devoted to a new type of educational programs that are formed at the intersection of higher and secondary education. Education as an institute is seen as an instrument of social stratification of society. The authors analyze the major developments of education as an institute, for instance differentiation between of academic and vocational educational programs and the creation of programs of production a “Homo habilis” — a skilled performer. Changes in the vocational education system are considered in the light of the introduction of the new educational standards FSES 2011 (Federal State Educational Standards).
Meta-analytic research in psychology of academic performance proved that Big Five Conscientiousness and Openness to Experience predict scholastic achievements of university students (O’Connor, Paunonen, 2007; Poropat, 2009). But we claim that psychological predictiors of academic success depend on educational environment and can be culture-related. We examined 176 2nd and 3rd year economy and computer science university students in Russia with the Big Five – Ipsative version test (Shmelyov, 2010) and discovered that GPA and USE (United State Examination in Russia) scores are significantly correlated with Agreeableness (r = 0.15; p < 0.01 for GPA and r = 0.22 p < 0.01 for USE math) and Neuroticism (r = 0.2, p < 0.01 for GPA and r = -0,17; p < 0,01 for USE math). We suppose that the difference between our result and results provided by the meta-analyses mentioned above can be explained by the differences in educational environment in Russia and other countries. We assume that big number of classes and relatively small amount of individual and analytical assignments create the environment where Agreeableness and Neuroticism are important for the academic success.
This book contains the proceedings of the 4th International Conference on Computer Supported Education (CSEDU 2012) which was organized and sponsored by the Institute for Systems and Technologies of Information, Control and Communication (INSTICC) and technically co-sponsored by SPEE (Portuguese Society for Engineering Education), IGIP (International Society for Engineering Education), ROLE (Responsive Open Learning Environments) and IFIP TC3 (International Federation for Information Processing - Technical Committee 3 - ICT and Education).
CSEDU has become an annual meeting place for presenting and discussing learning paradigms, best practices and case studies that concern innovative computer-supported learning strategies, institutional policies on technology-enhanced learning including learning from distance, supported by technology. The Web is currently a preferred medium for distance learning and the learning practice in this context is usually referred to as e-learning or technology-enhanced learning. CSEDU 2012 is expected to give an overview of the state of the art in technology-enhanced learning and to also outline upcoming trends and promote discussions about the education potential of new learning technologies in the academic and corporate world.
This conference brings together researchers and practitioners interested in methodologies and applications related to the education field. It has five main topic areas, covering different aspects of Computer Supported Education, including "Information Technologies Supporting Learning", "Learning/Teaching Methodologies and Assessment", "Social Context and Learning Environments", "Domain Applications and Case Studies" and "Ubiquitous Learning". We believe the proceedings, demonstrate new and innovative solutions, and highlight technical problems in each field that are challenging and worthwhile.
CSEDU 2012 received 243 paper submissions from 58 countries in all continents. A double-blind review process was enforced, with the help of the 297 experts who are members of the conference program committee, all of them internationally recognized in one of the main conference topic areas. Only 29 papers were selected to be published and presented as full papers, i.e. completed work (10 pages in proceedings / 30' oral presentations). 73 papers, describing work-in-progress, were selected as short papers for 20' oral presentation. Furthermore 37 papers were presented as posters. The full-paper acceptance ratio was thus 12%, and the total oral paper acceptance ratio was less than 42%. These ratios denote a high level of quality, which we intend to maintain and reinforce in the next edition of this conference.
The high quality of the CSEDU 2012 programme is enhanced by three keynote lectures, delivered by distinguished guests who are renowned experts in their fields, including (alphabetically): Joseph Trimmer (Ball State University, United States), David Kaufman (Simon Fraser University, Canada) and Hugh Davis (University of Southampton, United Kingdom).
For the fourth edition of the conference we extended and ensured appropriate indexing of the proceedings of CSEDU including DBLP, INSPEC, EI and Thomson Reuters Conference Proceedings Citation Index. Besides the proceedings edited by SciTePress, a short list of papers presented at the conference will be selected for publication of extended and revised versions in the Journal of Education and Information Technologies. Furthermore, all presented papers will soon be available at the SciTePress digital library.
The conference is complemented with two special sessions, focusing on specialized aspects of computer supported education; namely, a Special Session on Enhancing Student Engagement in e-Learning (ESEeL 2012) and a Special Session on Serious Games on Computer Science Learning (SGoCSL 2012).
Building an interesting and successful program for the conference required the dedicated effort of many people. Firstly, we must thank the authors, whose research and development efforts are recorded here. Secondly, we thank the members of the program committee and additional reviewers for their diligence and expert reviewing. We also wish to include here a word of appreciation for the excellent organization provided by the conference secretariat, from INSTICC, who have smoothly and efficiently prepared the most appropriate environment for a productive meeting and scientific networking. Last but not least, we thank the invited speakers for their invaluable contribution and for taking the time to synthesize and deliver their talks.
Institutions affect investment decisions, including investments in human capital. Hence institutions are relevant for the allocation of talent. Good market-supporting institutions attract talent to productive value-creating activities, whereas poor ones raise the appeal of rent-seeking. We propose a theoretical model that predicts that more talented individuals are particularly sensitive in their career choices to the quality of institutions, and test these predictions on a sample of around 95 countries of the world. We find a strong positive association between the quality of institutions and graduation of college and university students in science, and an even stronger negative correlation with graduation in law. Our findings are robust to various specifications of empirical models, including smaller samples of former colonies and transition countries. The quality of human capital makes the distinction between educational choices under strong and weak institutions particularly sharp. We show that the allocation of talent is an important link between institutions and growth.